A remarkable group of 60 works by the revered 19th-century French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is temporarily on view in the galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Including well-known masterpieces such as Adam and Eve, Eternal Spring, Saint John the Baptist Preaching, and Age of Bronze, the works are from the permanent collections of the nearby Rodin Museum, which is undergoing renovations through Summer 2000. A special complement to this temporary installation is Danaide, an important example of Rodin's mastery of marble carving that is on long-term loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
"Since 1939, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been proud to care for and administer the Rodin Museum and its celebrated collections," says Anne d'Harnoncourt, the Museum's Director and Chief Executive Officer. "While we look forward to the speedy reopening of the Rodin Museum, we are delighted with this rare and remarkable opportunity to present so much of Rodin's sculpture in a new setting, where they further distinguish galleries filled with important work by the his 19th-century contemporaries."
Joining Danaide in the Museum's first-floor Galleries of European Art is a comprehensive selection of the artist's work in a variety of mediums, including plaster, marble and bronze, and ranging from small-scale busts, hands and figural studies, to the monumental Eternal Springtime, Minerva, Balzac in a Frock Coat, and The Naked Balzac. Other works--Adam, The Shade, and The Crouching Woman--are showcased in the Museum's Great Stair Hall, together with a spectacular bronze of The Three Shades lent by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. On view in the West Foyer and adjacent areas on the ground floor are Age of Bronze, Eve, President Sarmiento, Monument to Claude Lorrain, Balzac, and the monumental head of Barbey d'Aurevilly.
Scheduled to reopen in Summer 2000, the Rodin Museum houses a preeminent public collection of sculpture by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). Installation of a new air-conditioning system is the primary focus of its current renovation process, which will complete a series of improvements--including the creation of a new Visitor's Center and updated Museum Store--begun in 1997. Missy Maxwell, of Susan Maxman Architects, and the engineering firm Brinjac, Kambic & Associates, Inc, are working in consultation with the Conservation and Facilities departments of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Joseph J. Rishel, who is The Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting, of the John G. Johnson Collection, and the Rodin Museum. Funding and contract administration are provided by the City of Philadelphia's Capital Program's Office.
The Rodin Museum contains 127 bronzes, marbles and plasters representing every aspect of the artist's career and all his major projects. Located at 22nd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (four blocks east of the Philadelphia Museum of Art), it is the legacy of one of Philadelphia's most prodigious and philanthropic collectors. Jules Mastbaum (1872-1926), owner of a chain of movie theaters, assembled his extraordinary holdings of sculpture and drawings by Auguste Rodin between 1923 and 1926. Mastbaum commissioned the gifted Beaux-Arts architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber to design a suitable building and garden, but died before his dream was realized. Opened to the public in 1929, the Rodin Museum has been a popular element in Philadelphia's cultural landscape ever since.